Family Engagement

Family Engagement & Parent Leadership 

The NC Family Engagement and Leadership Framework is a roadmap for pursuing family-centered, family-led work. It allows DPfC to consider ways of engaging with and learning from the primary adults in a child’s life. The goal is that families experience support in building knowledge about services available and choices, so that they are able to develop leadership skills to advocate for children, themselves, and for systems’ improvement as a whole.

The goal of this Family Engagement and Leadership Initiative is to involve the voices and lived experiences of families in improving and strengthening North Carolina’s birth to five early childhood system. Working closely with agencies and programs in your community, parent leaders will help develop approaches to engage with and learn from the adults in a child’s life and then draw on that information to work together to help programs better serve families.

In the process, the goal is that you as a parent leader will build your knowledge about the early childhood system and grow your own leadership skills to advocate for your child, your family, yourself, other families in the community, and for a better, and stronger, early childhood system.

What Parent Leaders can expect from us:

  • Receive a monthly stipend
  • Gain valuable leadership skills
  • Gain knowledge of how early childhood systems operate in our community
  • Build connections with community partners
  • Join a welcoming meeting environment where we value your input as the experts you are
  • Attend monthly coalition meetings with Family Engagement and Leadership team
  • Educational materials distributed in advance of the meetings to review at your own pace
  • Support and guidance as needed with your engagement activities

If you are interested in the Family Engagement and Leadership work please contact Gabrielle Adams (FEL Specialist) at or please complete the Parent Leader Application!

For more information on state-level Family Engagement & Leadership within the Smart Start Network 

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